A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 19, 2022

A recent string of deadly terror attacks across Afghanistan has left the country reeling. 
ISIS-K, a rival of the Taliban, is responsible for most — if not all — of the attacks, experts say.
The attacks appear to be part of an effort by ISIS-K to undermine the Taliban’s fragile grip on power. 

A recent string of deadly terror attacks across Afghanistan has left the country reeling, challenging the Taliban’s already strained governance just eight months after the US withdrawal. 

An explosion at a mosque on Friday in Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul killed at least 10 people and left 20 others injured, according to multiple reports. 

It’s the latest in a series of attacks this month that have targeted mosques, schools, and buses — leaving dozens dead and hundreds more injured.  And the attacks have not been limited to Kabul — people have also died in the northern cities of Mazar-e Sharif and Kunduz. 

Some of the carnage has been officially claimed by ISIS-K, also known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, and is the terror group’s Afghanistan affiliate.

But Michael Kugelman, an expert on the region at the Wilson Center, a DC-based think tank, told Insider he believes most — if not all — of the attacks were carried out by ISIS-K. 

The reasoning behind this surge?

ISIS-K — a rival of the Taliban — is essentially looking for ways to make the Taliban look bad and undermine its legitimacy. 

Kugelman said ISIS-K also wants to “push back” against the Taliban’s narrative that it restored peace and stability across the country in the wake of the US departure. 

“If Afghans are seeing things blown up left and right, obviously that flies in the face of that Taliban narrative,” Kugelman said. 

Who is ISIS-K — the Taliban’s enemy? 

ISIS-K made its presence known in the region in 2015, and has fought against the Taliban for years now.

According to a 2018 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, ISIS-K has also clashed with US, Afghan, and Pakistani security forces. 

In the months leading up to the Afghan government’s collapse last year, ISIS-K launched dozens of attacks — more than it did in 2020 — according to the Wilson Center.  

But it wasn’t until late August, just days before the last US troops left Afghanistan, that ISIS-K attracted the most …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

Constant ISIS terror attacks are challenging the Taliban’s tenuous grip on power in Afghanistan

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